With the Olympic Games less than 40 days away, a Glasgow rower enjoyed her moment in the spotlight after she helped her team triumph at the first ever Invesco Perpetual City Regatta in Edinburgh.

Clare Rainbow and three other teammates were the star performers in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square on Friday evening when they saw off a host of challengers to be crowned the best female team over 1km on Concept 2 rowing machines.

The Invesco Perpetual City Regatta is a spectacular new challenge where four-strong male and female crews compete head to head in a series of fast and furious regatta-style knock-out races live on stage in four cities across the country.

Rainbow and her rowing friends were in action at the first event in Edinburgh, with a further three regatta events taking places in Leeds, Bristol and London throughout the summer, before the Invesco Perpetual City Regatta Winner’s Row-Off on October 12 at the Guildhall, London, which will take place in front of an array of rowing legends and heroes returning from Rio.

And having earned local bragging rights last Friday, Rainbow was already setting her sights on walking away with the national title.

“I’m feeling ecstatic, I can’t believe we’ve won, it’s brilliant,” she said.

“We did expect to win, we don’t mean to sound arrogant but we train a lot. We knew the cross fitters would be stiff competition so we just tried to pull it out at the final.

“We weren’t all sure we had won at the end so once we realised it was great and now we get to go to London to compete in the grand final.

“It’s an unbelievable experience. We’re looking forward to showing what we can do in the final and meeting all the stars as well, we’ll have to get our frocks out.

“I think it’s really nice to have an event outside. Normally you’re on a rowing machine in the gym and it’s really hot and sweaty. But this is a great event.

“It lets other people see what the sport is all about and that people can have a go.”

Designed to test both fitness and teamwork, the Invesco Perpetual City Regatta is open to everyone – from seasoned pros, rowing novices or those who are just up for a new challenge.

During the competition, all four crew members row on separate rowing machines at the same time over a target distance of 1km with the racing software producing a 500m split pace for each rower, while the individual splits are then compiled in real time into one average split pace for the entire crew.

Their progress is then displayed on big screens for competitors and spectators alike to see – including double Olympic silver medal-winning rower Debbie Flood who was ther to cheer on crews and offer words of encouragement.

And after being impressed with the standard of rowing on show in Edinburgh, she urged other people to give rowing a try.

“There’s been pride, competitiveness and plenty of banter on show,” said the retired rower, who’s list of achievements also include being the first woman to be appointed as captain of Leander Club, which is the main feeder club for the GB team with 22 of its rowers, including Edinburgh’s Polly Swann, headed for Rio.

“There are four city regattas around the country and then the grand final is going to be in London later in the summer so it’s all building nicely.

“To get it into the cities is great, the atmosphere is great.

“It makes it bigger than just being in the gym. You’re in the middle of the city centre, people have come to watch and got involved. It’s a fantastic idea and I’d encourage other people to get involved and have a bit of a competition with colleagues.

“I was rowing on the water for 16 years but I actually started on a machine and that’s what got me involved with rowing.

“The rowing machine is something all the Olympic rowers will be using for training and preparation so it’s a big part of our sport.”

Invesco Perpetual’s innovative new ‘City Regatta’ event is a celebration of the achievements of Leander Club, the main feeder club to the GB team with 22 of its rowers headed for Rio, and aims to encourage more people across the UK to get involved in rowing.